Jan 31, 2010

What is The Virtual Dementia Tour program?

Imagine yourself in a carnival funhouse. You step inside and the lights go dim. You can barely see what's in front of you so you reach out your arms to feel your way along the walls, but this is no use.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

What is The Virtual Dementia Tour | Alzheimer's Reding Room

The Virtual Dementia Tour is a, hands-on, experiential tool kit created for anyone seeking to understand the physical and mental challenges of those suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia.

In short, it is a tool that gives you a form of dementia, and allows you to experience what it is like to be suffering from dementia. This is a commutation tool. A tool designed to let you feel and understand what your loved one might be feeling like at any point in time. As such, it is designed to help you improve communication by giving you the experience of dementia.

The major claim is that the Virtual Dementia Tour gives you a window "into their world". I tried it. It works.

Interestingly, I believe this tool would work best if it were tested by siblings and families of the ONE -- the Alzheimer's caregiver. This would give any outsider a good understanding of the behaviors that Alzheimer's caregivers see, face, and deal with all day long every day of the week. Key words here -- empathy for the caregiver, sympathy for the person suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

While doing the Virtual Dementia Tour you become completely disoriented and disconcerted. Your brain just won't do what you want it to do. Imagine that.

The virtual dementia program was developed by P. K. Beville of Second Wind Dreams. Second Wind Dreams focuses on those living in eldercare communities or in hospice care.

The Virtual Dementia Tour was featured on ABCs Nightline in July. They have an excellent article and a video where Primetime's Cynthia McFadden participates in the experiment. She describes the experience as "very humbling". To read and watch go here.

To visit Second Wind Dreams go here.

I also want to thank P.K. Beville for her continued support and frequent mentions of the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Roomand an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 4,970 articles with more than 388,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room